This is a guest post by Liv of The World is Waiting. Liv has travelled a lot over the years and has a passion for writing and blogging. Having worked as a scuba diving instructor, underwater photographer and videographer Liv enjoys being behind a camera too. All the writing and photos appearing on The World is Waiting are the culmination of her efforts over the years, unless otherwise specified.
When trying hard to save there are lots of things that it is possible to cut back on or even not buy at all; food is just the same. Now, obviously, I’m not suggesting savers stop eating altogether, but it is important to be clever in the way you do it. Food is an everyday expense, so a saving here may look small each time it is made, but in the long-term will be significant.
Firstly, much as it pains me to say it, it is imperative to avoid restaurants. The money spent on one meal in a restaurant could provide dinner at home for a week. It’s that simple. Don’t sit at home alone though. If eating out is a large part of your social life and time spent with friends, why not get into the habit of cooking for and eating at each others homes?
Assuming you are eating at home, you will need to go food shopping. If you shop in a supermarket, sign up for its loyalty scheme and make an effort to only shop there. This is a simple way to earn money-off points and coupons (yes, you may feel like you’re turning into your Gran, but try to focus on your end goal!) If you can pay with a ‘rewards’ credit card, that is even better (as long as you pay it off in full each month). Buying the supermarkets own products rather than branded goods is cheaper. If you only need fresh food items a market is often cheaper still.
So, once the food is bought, what are you actually going to eat while you’re being frugal? Here are a few suggestions of food that is cheap and easy to cook. They are also handy suggestions to have in mind as a good way to use up leftovers. Do not assume that being frugal about food has to be boring. The beauty of these options is their flexibility. You can be really creative with them and if you find yourself longing for the restaurants, splash out on a few indulgent ingredients. There is no need to feel guilty; it will be far cheaper than succumbing to the restaurant urge.
Who doesn’t like pizza? Making your own pizza is fantastic because you design it yourself, with all the bits you love and without the bits you don’t. It’s also cheaper. This is a no-brainer. Add your favourite toppings (super frugal-types will be using a bit of cheese and some leftovers) Easy.
Dry pasta from the dry goods section is cheap and if stored correctly, keeps for ages. If you feel like you need a treat, pasta is also very easy to make indulgent for only a moderate cost. The options are endless.
Otherwise known as a Spanish omelette, tortilla is another flexible option. You can have it plain or add pretty much anything that takes your fancy. It can also be served hot or cold, so is ideal as a sandwich alternative if you are taking packed lunches to work.
Stirfrys are so easy and again, you can include all your favourite things or use up leftovers.
After alcohol and the pre-packed ready meals, meat is one of the priciest items on the shopping list. A chicken however can often be bought for a reasonable price, so to save your frugality turning you vegetarian, try a basic roast chicken recipe.
I love a good dessert and fools are very simple to make (yoghurt, cream and pureed fruit) so can’t go wrong, I promise. Here are some fool recipes:
These are just a few suggestions. They are all very easy to prepare, but also involve basic ingredients that are easily and cheaply sourced all over the world (or common leftovers). They are also very flexible, so can be added to and adjusted to individual tastes.
Hope you have fun making them and enjoy eating them while saving the pennies!
How do you save money on food? Answer the question on our Facebook page or in the comments below.